Maple Pumpkin Spice Almonds

Melissa, November 6, 2013

In the spirit of Fall, I thought I would create something reminiscent of all the wonderful flavors that this time of year brings.  These make a delicious snack or can also be added to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, or whatever your heart desires.  Pumpkin is full of amazing nutrients: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, fibre, potassium, and magnesium, to name a few. Not only are pumpkins fun to carve, they make a wonderful addition to cooking and baked goods!  Hope you enjoy these little gems!! Ingredients -3 cups almonds, raw -3 tablespoons organic pumpkin puree -3 tablespoons maple syrup, raw -1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice -1/2 tsp vanilla extract -1 TBSP coconut oil, melted Instructions 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2. In a medium size bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract and melted coconut oil. 3. Then, add in raw almonds and toss. Make sure all almonds are evenly coated. 4. Finally, spread almonds onto baking sheet and place in oven. Roast almonds for 20 minutes tossing at 10 minutes and 15 minutes. Note: When you take the nuts out of the oven, they will not be crunchy at first. Let them cool for at least 20-30 minutes before eating or store in an airtight container

Pizza Dippers

Melissa, November 5, 2013

If you are looking for something fun for your kiddo’s lunch (or your own!), these pizza dippers will fit the bill. The beauty of this lunch is you can customize it to your child’s favorite veggies or just use what you have on hand. It’s a nice lunch to use up those extra veggies lingering in the crisper drawer. Any cheese cut in small stick like pieces would work as well. I chose mozzarella since it’s a popular pizza cheese and you can buy string cheese and just cut it in half and then in half again to make it really quick. Add a 100% whole wheat bread (I chose pita bread) or if you are grain free, you can just have more veggies or a grain free bread option. This homemade pizza sauce is super easy to make yourself or you can use some leftover pasta sauce. I love the smaller Wean Green containers for sauce and, of course all of the Wean Green containers are leak proof which insure your sauce won’t leak all over your lunch container. I’ve added in a side of Kalamata olives in one of the smaller Wean Green containers so the juice doesn’t get on the other dippers.  Finish off this lunch with some delicious fruit for dessert like the honeydew pictured here. Bon appetit!   A Few Words About Julia Julia is a stay-at-home mom to a preschooler and toddler and blogs about living and parenting naturally at A Little Bit of All of It. You can find her sharing delicious recipes she finds and her latest babywearing obsession on Facebook and Twitter and pinning her favorite natural baby and home items on Pinterest.

Grades Of Green – Trash Free Lunch Challenge!

Melissa, November 4, 2013

We have been so honoured to work with Grades of Green for the last few years, and we just LOVE what the challenge they currently have in place!  Grades of Green’s annual Trash Free Lunch Challenge is a competition between Los Angeles County schools to see which school can reduce their quantity of trash the most.  This year, there are already twenty-six new schools competing to reduce lunchtime waste!  Out of these twenty-six schools, the top three will receive science grants!  Collectively, they will divert thousands of bags of trash destined for landfills this year alone.  Even more importantly, it will teach kids better habits that will protect the environment in the years to come. Grades of Green always come up with creative ways to get students motivated to live a more trash free lifestyle, and we hope that you will support them as much as we do on this challenge!  Learn more about the challenge here.

Waldorf Salad

Melissa, October 31, 2013

Waldorf Salad is one my favorite salads, I love the combination of sweet and savory ingredients. It’s an easy lunch to take on the go, just put the salad without the dressing in a large Wean Green container, and put the dressing in a second, smaller container.  I recently made this for me and my husband, but I think it is a salad the whole family can enjoy, kids may like that it is somewhat sweet, with the added grapes and apples. What you will need: 2 red apples chopped 2 ribs of celery chopped ½ cup shredded carrots 1 cup grapes ½ cup chopped walnuts 1 bag of spinach ¼ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and pepper for taste   Serves 4 Combine apples, celery, carrots, grapes, walnuts and spinach. In a separate container combine yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and salt and pepper for taste. Mix in the dressing right before enjoying the salad.   A Few Words About Katie: My name is Katie P and I am the mother of a baby girl, who was born in January 2013. My husband and I are both vegetarians and have a passion for cooking with local and organic ingredients, using less toxic household products and reducing the amount of waste our household generates. I am excited to join the LitterLESS lunch team because I enjoy cooking and preparing creative meals. My husband and I try to take our lunch to work most days. Being a new mother is exciting but also very time consuming, so I am always trying to find ways to create healthy and quick meals. Going forward I plan to make baby food for our daughter, as well as make meals the whole family can eat. I use my Wean Green containers to hold ingredients I will be cooking with, as well as for dinner left overs, snacks and lunches. I also plan to use them for purees and baby snacks. I also have my own blog dedicated to becoming a new mother at www.plusoneblog.com

Power Breakfast: Chia Seeds And Yogurt

Melissa, October 24, 2013

We love a great breakfast and the wean green containers are great for portability, especially breakfast! We fill the round wean green container with strawberry yogurt and then a tablespoon serving of Chia Seeds (if it sounds familiar, yes, they are the same seeds as the Chia Pet – but they are actually healthy!). By the time I get to work, the seeds “gel” in the yogurt and it tastes really great! A Few Words About Dave And Emily: Dave is a technology buff. He has been using computers since he was 5 and is known to his friends as the go-to-guy when they have tech questions. He has reviewed both software and hardware, mac peripherals and various tech-related items for multiple magazines and newspapers. He spends a lot of his time researching the latest tech gadgets and always has something to say. He loves a good deal. Since he was a child he always has enjoyed watching cooking shows and making various creations in the kitchen. Emily is ecstatic to be a new mom. She is loving every minute of it and can’t get enough of her new bundle of joy. In between changing diapers, feedings and laundry, she likes to scope out the best bargains, spend time with her extended family and help out new and expectant moms by giving advice out. She is a school teacher and works with students with special needs and just received her advanced degree in assistive technology.

Don’t Forget Composting!

Melissa, October 23, 2013

So you’ve been packing trash-free meals with reusable containers for a while now, right? But what happens to that banana peel or vegetable leftovers after lunch? Today’s blog post is a reminder to consider composting. Composting is nature’s way of recycling. Leftover food scraps, leaves and yard trimmings can easily be broken down into humus through the composting process. Talk to your child’s school about “Campus Composting,” another activity from our friends at Grades of Green. They have all of the steps necessary to implement this program on their website: http://www.gradesofgreen.org/initiatives/trash-redux/campus-composting. On average students throw away 2 oz. of compostable material everyday at lunch. Campus Composting keeps this material from entering landfills. Not to mention, it creates great soil that can be used on campus grounds or sent home to families to use in their gardens!

#WeanGreenSwag

Melissa, October 21, 2013

We are SOO excited to have brought home our favourite products from last weeks ABC Kids Expo. Go social and ‘like’ everyone on facebook. We will be adding more details every day to the giveaway list. That is 5 days of awesome prizes totalling far beyond what our tired brains can add up after this busy trade show! a Rafflecopter giveaway GIVEAWAYS!                                                  

Black Bean Burgers

Melissa, October 16, 2013

I am always happy when I cook up something new and my little man loves it – it kinda makes my day! They are super easy to make, provide a lot of fibre, protein, minerals – manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and iron, and vitamins – thiamine, folate, beta carotene, vitamin C and B6 and taste delicious. So here it is: Black Bean Burgers 2 cups black beans, cooked, or equivalent canned 1 small onion, chopped 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 sweet potato, chopped and steamed ¼ cup salsa 2 tbsp ground flax 2 tbsp tamari 1 tbsp miso 2 tsp mustard 1 tsp herb de Provence ¼ to ½ cup brown rice bread crumbs   Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes; add garlic and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except brown rice bread crumbs, mix well to combine and heat through. Add brown rice bread crumbs, mix well. Remove from heat and mash to desired consistency (we left ours pretty chunky).  Let mixture cool to touch. When cool, form into burgers (I have gotten 5 or 6 burgers depending on size) and place on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, turning half way through, until golden and crispy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. Enjoy! What is your little food critic eating lately that is making you happy?

Mashed Potatoes and Peas

Melissa, October 10, 2013

A Few Words About Megan: My name is Megan and I am a Flight Attendant, married to a Pilot and mom to my adorable 6 month old son. I love to travel and document our life adventures over on my blog http://flythefriendlyskies.blogspot.com. We are excited to show our son all about the world we live in and he has already taken 8 flights and has a stamp in his passport. I am so very excited to join the LitterLESS Lunch team! Since becoming a mom, I’ve been a lot more aware of what we put into our bodies, where our foods come from and what we can do to minimize the waste. We’ve joined a CSA from local farmers, have been eating more organic and in season foods and using Wean Green cubes for my sons foods. I hope to teach my son about where our foods come from and what we can do to litter less as he grows!

Save Money By Going Green

Melissa, October 9, 2013

You may have heard that going green saves money. But wouldn’t it be nice to see some real numbers? The graphic below is from Grades of Green’s Trash Free Tuesdays activity. As you can see, using reusable containers and packing food from larger supplies rather than individually wrapped portions does save money! For more ideas on how you can do this, check out our Back 2 School Guide. Who wouldn’t want an extra $300 each year?

Detox Waters

Melissa, October 2, 2013

We all know it is very important to drink enough water daily to make sure we keep our bodies well hydrated, but still some people find it very difficult to get in their daily dose. Whether it is for yourself, your child or both, making home detox waters that are full of nutritious flavour can help to get that water down! You can make a batch of detox waters and store them in your Wean Green containers in the fridge to keep cool or bring them with you when on the go! This is a great drink to send off with children for the day at school, day camp, etc. – Try classic lemon water and add a dash of agave or coconut nectar to make your own lemonade! Added bonus: this drink will stimulate digestion – Try cucumber, lemon and ginger with fresh mint leaves to really detoxify and reduce inflammation – Try watermelon and lime water with fresh mint leaves for a great and refreshing summer detox drink Have fun with these! Add in whatever you’d like – strawberries, oranges, apples, herbal tea bags and a little sweetener to make iced teas, etc. These drinks will look pretty, taste delicious, and help you and/ or your children stay hydrated all summer long! For more summer recipes check out Marni’s Savour the Summer Cooking series here! Marni Wasserman is Culinary Nutritionist  & Health Strategist at Toronto’s First Plant Based Food Studio. www.marniwasserman.com

Trashy Trivia Time

Melissa, September 25, 2013

Did you know that Los Angeles County throws away enough trash to fill Dodger Stadium each week? Or that a single aluminum can takes between 80 and 100 years to decompose? Some of the statistics regarding our country’s current wastefulness are staggering. One way to encourage waste reduction is to educate youth on these statistics and the ways in which they can make a positive difference. The two statistics above are from Grades of Green’s “Trashy Trivia” cards. The trivia cards ask questions about what happens to our waste and also bring up suggestions for positive change like using reusable lunch containers and making sure recyclables end up in the recycle bin. To learn more interesting facts (or print a set of Trashy Trivia cards for yourself), check out all of Grades of Green’s downloads as part of its Trash Free Tuesdays activity:http://www.gradesofgreen.org/initiatives/trash-redux/trash-free-Tuesdays

LitterLESS Lunch Tips

Melissa, September 23, 2013

We are almost a month in! Congrats to those that are making the efforts!! Here are some of the tips that I am finding as I go along-if you have some please share! 1. Copy the Stores-look to see what is on store shelves and copy them in a healthy homemade option! Examples: fruit cups, sauces, meats, crackers, sweet treats, etc. 2. Get Organized-on Sunday nights I have been busy in the kitchen slicing, dicing and cooking for the upcoming week. Have everything ready and in containers in the fridge so the kids can grab what they need and fill their lunch bag in the morning. I try to do the main dish in the morning so that it is hot and fresh. Here is my break down for 2 kids: 10 Snack Cubes of ‘fruit bowls’ (whatever is in season or readily available). Mix the up so they don’t have the same every day. 10 Wean Tubs of veggie slices (cut to the length of the container to take full advantage). Again, mix it all up so they don’t get bored. 10 Snack Cubes of homemade crackers. Here are some of my fave recipes: Whole Wheat Cheddar Crackers, Toddler Crackers, Apple Cinnamon Crackers). 10 Snack Cubes of healthy treats like homemade muffins, homemade pudding or sometimes even a cookie or two:) 10 Wean Bowls to cover the dairy food group. This is sometimes a nice plain yogurt with a Wean Cube of granola to dump in or cut up cheese to go with their crackers. 3. Keep it COLD. I throw a bunch of containers in the freezer the night before school and then pack the cold items in the frozen containers. It keeps the food nice and cold until lunch time. 4. Keep the kids involved! Let them help slice, dice and cook. Ask them to make a meal plan for the week and bring them grocery shopping to pick up all the ingredients. Even just letting them choose from your prepared options will make them more likely to finish all the food up:) 5. Create a Recipe Box. Mine is digital so I don’t have to print. I have a folder on my computer that has all the recipes that I try. If the kids don’t like it I save the file as ‘don’t make-crappy crackers’. Find your favourite websites. Here are some to get you started: http://weelicious.com/ http://www.marthastewart.com/ http://ohsheglows.com/ http://www.annaliisasorganickitchen.blogspot.ca/ http://thepioneerwoman.com/ http://www.parents.com/recipes/familyrecipes/lunch/super-food-lunch-ideas/ Happy Lunch Making;) ~Melissa

Steamed Vegetables with Garlic Butter Sauce

Melissa, September 19, 2013

Ingredients – 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets – 1 1/2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-size florets – 1 cup carrots, sliced into pieces of 1/4″ thickness – 1 cup mushrooms or celery (or both!), cut into slices – 1/2 cup butter – 1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed (or less to taste) – several pinches of fresh rosemary, basil, or dried oregano – 1 tsp salt (or more to taste) – 1/4 tsp ground black pepper Directions Take all of your cut up veggies and steam them in a pot (easiest way is with cauliflower and broccoli on the bottom and everything else on top) for about 10 minutes on high heat. Test with a fork to make sure they are ready. They should be firm (so they won’t fall apart), but you should be able to poke the fork through to the center. Put vegetables into a colander and run under cold water, which will prevent the vegetables from continuing to cook and becoming too soft. Set aside. Now prepare the sauce. Over low heat, melt the butter. Now add the crushed garlic and the herb of your choice, and let simmer for several minutes, until the sauce becomes very fragrant. Remove from heat and let the flavors continue to marinate for a few minutes. Put the sauce into a large bowl, and mix in the salt and pepper. Add the mixed vegetables, and toss to coat. Serve, and enjoy!   A Word From Lalia: Lalia Frolick began the Found Frolicking blog in order to write about life as a “crunchy” mama. Her blog is a little bit of everything: she shares her reflections and experiences of motherhood along with recipes, DIY projects, reviews, promoting giveaways, and more! She grew up in San Francisco, California, and was raised to have a global appreciation of diversity and cuisines from India, Greece, Thai, Italy, and more. Although Lalia has been living in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (as if you didn’t know where that is!) for over 4 years, she hopes to return to California soon to be closer to her extended family. She currently lives with her husband, 1-year-old son, and two furry rascals: a chocolate lab and a manx cross (that’s supposedly supposed to be a cat, but he acts more like a small dog).  

New Ways To Use Your Wean Greens

Melissa, September 18, 2013

Wean Green comes in a wide variety of sizes and shapes making them practical containers for all kinds of things! Here are 4 ways to use your Wean Greens you may not have thought of yet: – Soaking: Soak your nuts and seeds to boost their nutritional value and make them more easily digested by your body through reducing physic acid and neutralizing enzyme inhibitors. Some great nuts and seeds for soaking are cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds. Simply take your nuts and seeds, put them in separate Wean Green containers, cover them with reverse osmosis or purified water, let sit overnight, drain and rinse and then use as desired! Learn all about soaking (and sprouting) here. – Growing Herbs: Use your Wean Green containers for growing your own detox herbs! You can grow herbs such as basil, thyme, peppermint, lavender and lemongrass. Start with a high quality, organic, light potting soil to plant your seedlings. Once planted, you will need to ensure your seedlings get frequent exposure to sunlight, enough water and organic fertilizer. Once grown you can use as desired! Snip off some fresh herbs to add delicious flavour to your cooking or dry your herbs and make your own home herbal detox teas! Check out the benefits of growing your own herbs and veggies here. – Storing Homemade Flavours: Get busy in the kitchen by creating your own spice mixes, sauces, salad dressings, spreads, etc. This will be a fun new way for you and your family to explore new tastes and flavours! Try adding some great detox flavours to your creations such as cayenne pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Wean Greens wide variety in sizes makes them perfect for holding all of these homemade mixtures so that you always have quick and easy access to your favourite flavours to add to meals! – Make Single Serving Raw Avocado Chocolate Pudding: If your child has a sweet tooth they will enjoy this one! Make a simple and delicious raw chocolate mousse with avocados, raw cacao powder, unsweetened almond milk, raw almond butter, agave and soaked dates for a nourishing snack or dessert to enjoy together at home or on the go. You can add in additional flavours and raw food toppings raw cacao nibs, goji berries, coconut, etc. Use Wean Greens snack cubes or tubes to have the perfect single serving size of this pudding! Marni Wasserman is Culinary Nutritionist  & Health Strategist at Toronto’s First Plant Based Food Studio. www.marniwasserman.com  

Last Night’s Dinner is Tomorrow’s Litterless Lunch

Melissa, September 12, 2013

One of our weekly dinners involves some kind of chicken, veggies, and grains.  This particular dinner was chicken breast marinated in Maui Maid Natural marinade and baked, steamed peas and carrots, and jasmine rice.  This is a quick and easy meal to make for dinner and leftovers pack easily for lunch the next day. A Few Words From Rosella: I live in San Francisco.  I’m married and mother to a beautiful 2 year old boy.  I have a wonderful job working full-time for a software company.  I am passionate about photography, food, and travel.  I love to cook when I can and I enjoy trying new recipes.  My current obsession is dark chocolate, sea salt chocolate chip cookies. I am thrilled to be a part of the LitterLESS Lunch Team because I like knowing what ingredients make up the food that my family eats.  I’m fortunate to live in an area that has an abundance of organic foods readily available but sometimes it’s still difficult to find healthy options when we go out, so packing along a lunch saves money and provides my family with a healthier meal or snack when we go out.  Wean Green glass containers come in so many different sizes, it’s easy to pack something simple as crackers for the little one, to full meals for the adults.

194 Days of LitterLESS Lunches

Melissa, September 11, 2013

Tis the season…for getting up early, rushing around and getting the kids out the door with healthy lunches in hand. As a mama of 2 I GET IT! I understand why there are SO many rich companies getting rich off of us busy mamas by selling us prepackaged foods read to throw into a lunch box. Unfortunately there are some problems when feeding our kids these pre-packaged lunches. Check out some of the nutritional downfalls of a popular pre-packed lunch item in Michael F. Jacobson’s Huffington Post Blog. They are not the most appetizing facts. Better yet-just grab a pre-packed grocery store item and look at the never ending list of ingredients. After feeding my kids fresh produce, homemade grains, organic meats and homemade snacks I can’t imagine what a Lunchables would do to their systems! The other downfall-THE GARBAGE! Oh. My. Goodness. It is disgusting to see the amount of waste that one class can produce during lunch (trust me-I used to be a teacher). It seems like everything is coming prepackaged these days, even crackers! Last year at a seminar I found out that the average elementary student produces 67 lbs of lunch waste a year!  My other beef? Cost. I was at the grocery store yesterday and there was a sale on prepacked fruit (in those horrible plastic containers). It was $3 for 6 5 oz containers (that is the size of a Wean Bowl). I bought a bag of apples for $4.00. With that bag of apples, I can cut them up into the same cute size and fill about 10 5oz containers! Grades of Green has a little break down on the cost/garbage analysis, check it: So, now that you know WHY I want to pack  LitterLESS Lunches lets put the challenge out there. I am planning on making sure my kids have a LitterLESS Lunch every day of the 2013/14 school year. Don’t think you can do the full year with me? Try doing Grades of Green Trash Free Tuesdays! It is a great starting point for building a great habit and teaching our kids we care about the environment. Who is with me? Let us know in the comments what you packed and how you made it litterLESS. Every month we are going to choose 1 person from the comments of this post and send a LitterLESS Lunch prize pack (will include lots of goodies from our other friends that make cool products).

Kali Orexi!

Melissa, September 5, 2013

One of my husband’s and my goals for our daughter—The Kid—was to expose her to a variety of food very early on, so that she didn’t end up on the “kid diet” of macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. (We half made it. At 22 months, she hates fried food and loves mac and cheese.) I will admit, though, that I’m not a particularly enthusiastic cook. Baking? Yes. Cooking? Not so much. So I love recipes that are healthy(ish), easy, provide variety, and taste great. I was thrilled when I came across a fabulous slow-cooker recipe for Greek chicken and another yummy recipe for a Greek rice side dish (spanakorizo). I do take some short cuts, like using dried onions, herbs, and spices, and using frozen spinach in place of fresh. Keeping frozen veggies and dried seasoning around allows me to make fresh food without too much pre-planning. It also allows flexibility, so if we get a last-minute play date invitation or friends spontaneously invite us to dinner, I don’t have to worry about the veggies for dinner going bad. For extra tasty goodness, I add grape tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetable side dishes, serve the chicken with store-bought tzatiki, and have crumbled feta available to sprinkle on everything. The Kid loves the spanakorizo and is a big fan of the chicken. No matter how much we all love this meal, though, there are always leftovers. The chicken is good cold; mix it with the tzatiki and put it in a pita for a Greek-inspired chicken salad sandwich! Both the rice and chicken also reheat very nicely, so this meal lends itself well to leftovers. Kali orexi! (That’s Greek for “Good appetite!”—bon appétite, if you will—or “Enjoy!”) A Word From Christina: Hi, I’m Christina Marie! I’m the at-home-mom to a daughter born in September of 2011. My family (including my husband and our two English Springer Spaniels) lives just outside of Arlington, VA. I’m so excited to be part of the LitterLESS Lunch Team! While I’ll admit that I’ve got some less-than-environmentally friendly habits (paper towels, anyone?), my family and I try to be conscious of the easy ways we can help keep our planet healthy. One of those easy ways is avoiding disposable dishes and tableware—even with babies, toddlers, and children. My daughter has always used glass dishes and even as a toddler, she knows to be careful with them. (When she gets feisty at the table, she drops her cup and her silverware, but never her dishes.) LitterLESS Lunch helps show the multitude of glassware options available, the Team members will demonstrate the different types of people who use them and ways in which they’re used, and—even better—the LitterLESS Lunch Team helps provide tasty and healthy ideas about what to put in them.

Parents: Looking for a Green Volunteer Opportunity?

Melissa, September 4, 2013

In our last blog post we introduced you to Grades of Green’s “Trash Free Tuesdays” lunch activity. We mentioned that the activity can be implemented on a school-wide scale for great results! But in order for that to happen, schools need parent volunteers like you to help make such great change possible. As a parent volunteer you can help your child’s school set up a trash-free lunch system and help educate other parents and students on how to pack a trash-free lunch. Of course this includes trading out plastic bags for reusable containers (check out Wean Green’s variety of products). You also get to reward students for their efforts to be trash-free. To learn more check out: http://www.gradesofgreen.org/initiatives/trash-redux/trash-free-Tuesdays. Or if you have specific questions, feel free to email Grades of Green directly at info@gradesofgreen.org.

Back 2 School Lunch Bag CONTEST

Melissa, September 3, 2013

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Page 13 of 29« First...1112131415...20...Last »